Armored Review

A team of drivers for an armored truck company initiate their newest member, ex-Marine Ty Hackett (Columbus Short), by staging a robbery. Little does he know that it was a practice run for a real heist by the lead officer, Mike Cochrone (Matt Dillon) and his brother in law, Baines (Laurence Fishburne). They are planning to steal $50 million dollars from the US Mint by claiming their trucks were attacked. At first, Ty does not want to be involved. But when the Department of Social Services threatens to take away his younger brother from his custody because he is losing his house, he gives in to the plan. Everything seems to go well until a homeless person is discovered when they are stashing their loot in an abandoned steel mill and is gunned down. Mike promised Ty that no one is supposed to get hurt. Of course that’s not what happens.

The armored truck company is like a small private army lead by Duncan Ashcroft (Fred Ward) who runs his crews with efficiency and security. They must not have given this group any psychological testing. Especially for a bunch of bruisers and abusers that are paid to carry guns. Matt Dillon plays Mike with that typical wise guy bully persona that he has done numerous times. Fishburne is hot headed, not too bright, and loves big guns. Jean Reno is Quinn, a no-nonsense "get the job done" kind of guy. Palmer (Amaury Nolasco) wears horn-rimmed glasses and reads the Bible trying to repent for his past. Dobbs (Skeet Ulrich) is a quiet father who just needs the money. They are your typical "by-the-numbers" characters.

The story basically crawls along at the beginning. You could basically take a nap, do a bathroom break, and not miss anything important. First time screenwriter James V. Simpson provides us with just enough back story to understand the motivation of why Ty, a basically decent person, would want to go along on Mike’s word. Put your character between a rock and a hard place and then watch them make the wrong decision. Try not to think too hard as to why these guys are doing all this and you will be fine.

Director Antal Nimr√≥d, who gave us Vacancy and is now directing Predators, knows his way around tough action shots. The build up to the heist may be slow, but the showdown with Ty hiding in the armored car with unfortunate cop Eckehart (Milo Ventimiglia) and the rest of the money provides "sitting at the edge of your seat" fun. There are a couple good truck chases and a cool MacGyver moment. It’s too bad the first part doesn’t live up to the end. (Review by Reesa Cruz-Hawkins)